Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Top One Billion Units for the First Time

For the first time ever, one billion smartphones have been shipped in one year, marking a huge milestone for mobile.

According to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC), vendors shipped more than a billion smartphones in 2013, up 38.4% from the 725.3 million devices shipped in 2012.

Press release below

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. January 27, 2014 – The worldwide smartphone market reached yet another milestone, having shipped one billion units in a single year for the first time. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 1,004.2 million smartphones worldwide, up 38.4% from the 725.3 million units in 2012. This aligns with IDC’s most recent forecast of 1,010.4 million units, making for a difference of less than 1%. Smartphones accounted for 55.1% of all mobile phone shipments in 2013, up from the 41.7% of all mobile phone shipments in 2012. In the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q13), vendors shipped a total of 284.4 million smartphones worldwide, up 24.2% from the 229.0 million units shipped in 4Q12.

In the worldwide mobile phone market (inclusive of smartphones), vendors shipped 1,821.8 million units, up 4.8% from the 1,738.1 million units shipped 2012. In 4Q13 alone, vendors shipped a total of 488.4 million units worldwide, up 0.9% from the 484.0 million units shipped in 4Q12. This is 2.8% lower than the 502.4 million units that IDC had recently forecast.

“The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone’s continued popularity in 2013,” says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “Total smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones.”

“Among the top trends driving smartphone growth are large screen devices and low cost,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Of the two, I have to say that low cost is the key difference maker. Cheap devices are not the attractive segment that normally grabs headlines, but IDC data shows this is the portion of the market that is driving volume. Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many.

Smartphone Vendor Highlights:

Samsung ended the quarter the same way it began the year: as the clear leader in worldwide smartphone shipments. But even with sustained demand for its Galaxy S III, S4, and Note models, as well as its deep selection of mid-range and entry-level models, the company realized a decline compared to the previous quarter. Nevertheless, the company maintained a sizable double-digit lead over the next vendor.

Apple posted record shipment volume during 4Q13, driven primarily by the addition of multiple countries offering the iPhone 5S and 5C, and sustained demand from its initial markets that saw these models launch at the end of 3Q13. Still, Apple had the lowest year-on-year increase of all the leading vendors. Now that Apple has finally arrived at China Mobile, it remains to be seen how much Apple will close the gap against Samsung in 2014.

Huawei maintained its number three position worldwide, attained the highest year-on-year increase among the leading vendors, and raised its brand profile with a higher proportion of self-branded units compared to the ODM work it had done for other companies. Still, even with its success, Huawei faces a crowded group of potential competitors within striking distance.

Lenovo, despite having no presence in North America nor Western Europe, finished the quarter in the number four position. The company’s strength lies in its strong presence within key emerging markets and a well-segmented product portfolio spanning from simple, affordable smartphones to full-featured 5″ screen models. Should the company become successful at branching into more developed markets in 2014, it could challenge Huawei for the number three spot.

LG finished just behind Lenovo and edged out ZTE for the number five position, with just five million units separating the two companies. At the same time, its year-on-year improvement put the company on par with Huawei and Lenovo with market beating growth. LG’s success can be directly attributed to its revived portfolio from a year ago, which featured more large-screen and high-end models, including the Nexus 5 and its Optimus G series.

Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 (Units in Millions)

Vendor

2013 Shipment Volumes

2013 Market Share

2012 Shipment Volumes

2012 Market Share

Year-over-Year Change

Samsung

313.9

31.3%

219.7

30.3%

42.9%

Apple

153.4

15.3%

135.9

18.7%

12.9%

Huawei

48.8

4.9%

29.1

4.0%

67.5%

LG

47.7

4.8%

26.3

3.6%

81.1%

Lenovo

45.5

4.5%

23.7

3.3%

91.7%

Others

394.9

39.3%

290.5

40.1%

35.9%

Total

1,004.2

100.0%

725.3

100.0%

38.4%

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, January 27, 2014

 Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 Q4 (Units in Millions)

Vendor

4Q13 Shipment Volumes

4Q13 Market Share

4Q12 Shipment Volumes

4Q12 Market Share

Year-over-Year Change

Samsung

82.0

28.8%

66.7

29.1%

22.9%

Apple

51.0

17.9%

47.8

20.9%

6.7%

Huawei

16.4

5.8%

10.5

4.6%

56.5%

Lenovo

13.9

4.9%

9.4

4.1%

47.3%

LG

13.2

4.6%

8.6

3.8%

53.2%

Others

107.9

37.9%

85.9

37.5%

25.6%

Total

284.4

100.0%

229.0

100.0%

24.2%

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, January 27, 2014

This chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic are available by clicking here.
Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 (Units in Millions)

Vendor

2013 Shipment Volumes

2013 Market Share

2012 Shipment Volumes

2012 Market Share

Year-over-Year Change

Samsung

446.7

24.5%

409.4

23.6%

9.1%

Nokia

251.0

13.8%

335.6

19.3%

-25.2%

Apple

153.4

8.4%

135.9

7.8%

12.9%

LG

70.0

3.8%

56.6

3.3%

23.6%

Huawei

55.5

3.0%

47.5

2.7%

16.7%

Others

845.2

46.4%

753.1

43.3%

12.2%

Total

1,821.8

100.0%

1738.1

100.0%

4.8%

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, January 27, 2014

 

Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 Q3 (Units in Millions)

Vendor

4Q13 Shipment Volumes

4Q13 Market Share

4Q12 Shipment Volumes

4Q12 Market Share

Year-over-Year Change

Samsung

112.0

22.9%

113.6

23.5%

-1.4%

Nokia

63.4

13.0%

86.3

17.8%

-26.5%

Apple

51.0

10.4%

47.8

9.9%

6.7%

LG

18.5

3.8%

15.4

3.2%

20.2%

Huawei

17.9

3.7%

15.9

3.3%

12.6%

Others

225.6

46.2%

205.1

42.4%

10.0%

Total

488.4

100.0%

484.0

100.0%

0.9%

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, January 27, 2014

Note: Data are preliminary and subject to change. Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC’s Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or knagamine@idc.com.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

 

Contact

For more information, contact:

Ramon Llamas
rllamas@idc.com
508-935-4736

Ryan Reith
rreith@idc.com
650-350-6242

Michael Shirer
press@idc.com
508-935-4200

The PC may be dying, but tablet growth is slowing as consumer saturation sets in

Summary: If you thought the tablet was the savior to the ailing PC market, we may need a better alternative if the latest tablet growth forecasts are to be believed.

And there we were thinking the tablet uprising might replace the clunky traditional desktop.

While the chances of a PC market resurgence are slim, latest IDC figures released Wednesday suggest the tablet market may not be as healthy as first thought.

Preliminary figures suggest worldwide tablet shipments grew to 76.9 million units during the fourth calendar quarter of 2014, representing a 62 percent growth quarter-over-quarter and 28 percent growth year-over-year.

Compared that to the growth figures released this time a year ago — 87.1 percent from 2012 — and it’s clear that’s a significant slowing of the overall market.

By comparison, the PC market saw worldwide shipments of 82.2 million units during the fourth quarter, but contracted by 5.6 percent year-over-year.

For the full 2013 calendar year, worldwide tablet shipments totaled 217 million units, a 50 percent growth on the full 2012 calendar year of 144 million shipments.

PC shipments may still be ahead of tablet shipments, the rate at which PC shipments are declining and tablet shipment growth is slowing, tablets may soon overtake PCs in shipments but may not stem the decline altogether.

IDC’s Tom Mainelli said in remarks: “It’s becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the U.S. are reaching high levels of consumer saturation and while emerging markets continue to show strong growth this has not been enough to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth rates of years past.”

“We expect commercial purchases of tablets to continue to accelerate in mature markets, but softness in the consumer segment—brought about by high penetration rates and increased competition for the consumer dollar—point to a more challenging environment for tablets in 2014 and beyond,” he added.

idc
Top five tablet vendors, shipments (million), and market Share, Q4 2013 (Table: IDC)

Not surprisingly, thanks to the iPad’s success, Apple led the fourth quarter with 26 million shipments with a year-over-year growth of more than 13 percent. But its share declined thanks to an uptick in Samsung tablets.

Samsung came in second with 14.5 million shipments — with about half of Apple’s total shipments — rising from 13 percent market share to close to 19 percent year-over-year.

Amazon saw a year-over-year decline in tablet shipments bringing in 7.6 percent of the share, while Asus remained flat with just 5 percent.

Lenovo, which has been ramping up its tablet efforts in recent quarters, saw a spike in fourth-quarter shipments, rising by more than 300 percent in year-over-year growth.

On Lenovo’s massive tablet share growth, IDC’s Jitesh Ubrani said Lenovo’s access to Chinese whitebox manufacturing infrastructure helped raise its low-priced tablet profile.

“The company’s strength in emerging markets, and its increased market share in adjoining markets such as PCs and smartphones, makes it well positioned to see additional tablet gains in 2014,” he added.

Exactly where the tablet goes from here remains unclear. Market saturation shows extreme prior growth. Unless tablet makers can maintain that momentum and keep refreshing models to ensure a line of succession, upgrades, and replacements, the entire tablet market could begin to topple in a not-too-dissimilar way to the PC market. Read more

 

Web Development, Apps Will Continue to Evolve in 2014

Throughout 2013, smartphone and tablet iterations altered how programmers and web development companies approached building web applications. In many ways this past year was a transition point. Brands, designers, and developers were finally acclimating their skills to the evolving mobile medium.

Responsive web design (RWD) was arguably the leading trend in web and mobile development over the past two years. And HTML5 continued to slowly but surely provide the means to “write once, and run anywhere.” Now that the industry has become familiar with designing and coding for mobile users in addition to PC users, the line between ‘mobile’ and ‘desktop’ experiences is blurring.

Smarter Transitions

Mobile apps have contributed to a web design renaissance. The influence of iOS and Android designers on the way web developers go about building web applications is undeniable. Specifically when it comes to performing functions and interacting with a website’s interface, developers will focus more on smooth web transitions that replicate a mobile app experience. Seamless performance with a visually pleasing interface is now a standard expectation thanks to tablets and smartphones.

With Retina screens and the introduction of 4K resolution, designers are focusing more than ever on seamless transitions that accompany website functionality. This applies to desktops and mobile devices alike. Spurred by advances in screen resolution, web development techniques and touch screen technology, users in 2014 will expect picture perfect visual aesthetics to accompany every function. With such increased screen clarity, users will spot the slightest of flaws. Throughout 2014 expect websites to seem much more app-like.

Blurring the Line Between OS and Browser

This past year saw the release of two significant milestones when it comes to browsers. Google and Mozilla released variants of their popular browsers as full-fledged operating systems. For the first time, consumers can choose to run their entire PC experience through Chrome and Firefox. With the rise in popularity of Chromebooks there is a new standard being set for who can offer a great operating system.

In 2014, expect the web browser to evolve into a new beast entirely. HTML5 web development for instance, can effectively port a console quality video game experience directly through a web browser. No plugins and no downloads required, just direct access to an immersive digital experience powered by a browser.

Renewed Focus on Go-Live

Following the international debacle that was the launch of Healthcare.gov, brands and organizations will place a major focus on flawless go-lives throughout 2014. Quality assurance processes and testing procedures became talking points on the 24 hour news cycle. For the first time ever, web development processes were engrained in the public. It was as if the United States had failed to reach the moon.

With such a disastrous precedent for a failed launch, companies will avoid any and all comparisons to the Healthcare.gov launch. By focusing on the non-glamorous processes like user acceptance testing and QA testing, brands will use the go-live phase to further exemplify their operational prowess. It may not be as exciting as a hackathon, but it will help ensure a more seamless launch and avoid damage to a brand’s reputation.

A Focus on Typography

Websites and web applications will continue to adapt to mobile screen sizes. Tablets and smartphones have comparably different reading experiences and navigation than standard PC web experiences. One of the major issues with websites and web applications viewed via mobile, stems from the difficulty of reading text. To help solve this challenge in 2014, web developers will begin experimenting with the size, location, and layout of type-based content.

The trend of flat design, brought about by Windows 8 and iOS7, has resulted in a new take on text-content and its relation to web design. Brands like Audi have gone so far as to design their own custom font. Throughout 2014 expect to see websites where text based content is a focal point of the user experience.

Web Development In the Post-PC Era

Although we’re progressing from PCs it does not mean that they’re dead. Now that developers are acclimated to mobile web experiences, expect those lessons to emerge in the web development trends used this year. In my role as the CEO of web development company Icreon Tech, I work with clients on a daily basis who express interest in more immersive web experiences that stand out in today’s app driven world. In 2014, the web will exhibit many signs that show we are in a post-PC era. Read more

Facebook for Every Phone and its impact on the developing world

The mobile revolution in Africa is well documented, however mobile statistics are specifically impressive in the BRIC Nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China – as well as the likes of Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines. Many emerging markets have skipped the ‘desktop generation’ and are already mobile-first economies where mobile devices are more ubiquitous than either land-line telephones, PCs, or fixed Internet connections. Although research suggests that global smartphone shipments have overtaken those of feature phones recently, it is still the basic feature phone that dominates in emerging markets. Facebook has been quietly working on a project over the last 2 years to expand its user base of 1.1 billion and enable Facebook access on simple, feature phones.

The scheme is called ‘Facebook for Every Phone‘ and has reached 100m users. The stripped-down, minimum capacity version of Facebook is accessed through over 3,000 types of feature phone, some costing less than 20 dollars. Working with mobile operators, Facebook has encouraged them to allow users free or cheap access to this basic version of their product.

Why is Facebook doing this?

Although markets such as India, Indonesia, Brazil, India, Mexico and Vietnam are not currently lucrative advertising markets for the internet giant, they are some of the fastest growing markets for internet access and social networking, and Facebook is clearly eyeing up its next generation of customers and the potential ad revenue these markets will bring.

As Facebook subscription in the likes of the US reaches saturation point, many people see the next generation of customers from the developing world as Facebook’s greatest opportunity to increase its global market share. Although Facebook’s success in the mobile advertising market has been well documented, it is still like many struggling with the seismic shift in internet access from the PC to mobile devices. As the economies of emerging markets grow and its consumer class demands access to the same products and services as the developing world, they represent a lucrative market for the likes of Facebook. Indeed, research suggests that users who access the product through a feature phone are the most engaged users, representing another opportunity for advertisers. As the middle class in the developing world grows, so do their purse strings and Facebook is fully aware of this.

Snaptu

Facebook purchased an Israeli company called Snaptu, that had begun to produce basic versions of applications to allow users to access them on feature phones. Facebook, having originally discounted mobile Facebook access as simply a way to update a status as opposed to the full service, saw a massive opportunity here. The Snaptu team began to re-engineer Facebook’s software to reduce its capacity and allow it to run off minimal data requirements. Facebook for Every Phone includes all the phones most popular features, including News Feed, Messenger and Photos, and is optimized to use less data than other Java apps and mobile sites.

Despite the obvious benefits access to Facebook brings many people in the developing world, there is a danger that users see Facebook as the entire internet, instead of just a small part of it. As powerful internet giants such as Facebook, Microsoft and Google continue to see emerging markets as a priority, there should be a limit to their influence allowing home-grown developers and mobile applications to launch and thrive in the developing world. Read more